Home » The Only Car Actually Seen With Iggy Pop In The Video For ‘The Passenger’ Probably Isn’t What You Guessed It Is: Cold Start

The Only Car Actually Seen With Iggy Pop In The Video For ‘The Passenger’ Probably Isn’t What You Guessed It Is: Cold Start

Cs Iggy Simca
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You know what’s a great song? The Passenger, in its original Iggy Pop form or, if I can be so bold, which I can, the Siouxsie Sioux versions. But I want to talk about the original Iggy Pop version, because even though it’s a song about, basically, just riding shotgun in a car (it’s said the specific car that inspired the song was David Bowie’s who Iggy Pop was on tour with at the time), there’s only one clear image of a specific car, a car with Mr.Pop himself draped over the hood, and it’s probably not the car you’d expect in the context. It’s that car up there, a funny little Simca 1000.

First, here, enjoy the song:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

And, hell, if you want to compare it with the Siouxsie cover, who am I to stop you?

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Okay, back to the car. The photo of Iggy flopped on the hood of that Simca was taken in West Berlin in 1977, by Iggy Pop’s then-girlfriend, Esther Friedman, who seems to be a magnet for cool cars in pictures; here’s a picture of her and Iggy with a Renault 4 in the background, and here she is with a painted face getting out of a Karmann-Ghia convertible.

The little Simca is an appealing car, a French entry in a category of cars that is logged in my head as one of the many small, usually European rear-engined Corvair clones, like the NSU Prinz or the Zaporozets 969 or a Renault R8. I love the Simca’s cute-ugly bug-eyed face. It looks like a gargoyle you’ve raised since a gargoylet and is now your loving, loyal pet.

Cs Iggy Simca2

These were imported to America briefly and in pretty small numbers, so I expect most Americans seeing this video had no idea what the hell that car was, if they even noticed it. It’s funny, that video wasn’t even released until 2020, 43 years after the song came out, so anyone who may have known about Simcas when the song first came out would likely be pretty old or even maybe a little dead by the time the video appeared.

 

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Martin Ibert
Martin Ibert
1 year ago

I have ridden in a Simca like that (not driven it myself though) in my highschool years, but while I am old, I am, as of this writing, not dead, not even a little. 🙂

Bart
Bart
1 year ago

Hey Jason – what a super article. A great mix of my two passions – music + cars. Thanks for letting me know of Iggy’s ‘new’ song out. As much as I love his video, Siouxsie is still the most enchanting of all.

Siouxsie + SIMCA = Pure Bliss

Guillaume Maurice
Guillaume Maurice
1 year ago

Something to keep in mind avout SIMCA… it was Fiat behind it… and then Chrysler…

It got rebranded to Talbot when Chrysler sold it to Peugeot.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago

Torch, there is no world in which the 4L is a “cool car.” None. It’s a miserable, deplorable shit box that doesn’t even look good.

The simca is a tossup.

The karmann Ghia is definitely cool.

Doug Kretzmann
Doug Kretzmann
1 year ago

thank you – I loved the Simca, a friendly little gargoylish transport indeed.
Been listening to the Siouxsie version for forty years and that’s the first time I’ve seen the video.. prefer it to the original myself.

On the other hand Iggy is my hero, I run shirtless in the summer even though I’m old and wobbly. Iggy inspired me, in a Rollingstone interview:
How old is too old to be shirtless in public?
There’s no age, and the public can kiss my sweet ass, bare.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Kretzmann

> How old is too old to be shirtless in public?

It’s not age so much as jiggliness..

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 year ago

Not dead yet. Know about both the Simca and Iggy. What a long strange trip it’s been.

Paul Stanley
Paul Stanley
1 year ago

Don’t know crap about Iggy, but my dad’s simca was my first ride. Slower than my best friend’s 68 bug, lost $10 on that bet. Gas gauge didn’t work, so I had fun with “running out of gas” on dates until, naturally, I really did. Waking to the gas station in rented prom shoes taught me well. Rebuilt the rear suspension after learning the hard way about the laws of physics about a rear engine car. Fond memories but don’t miss it one bit.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Stanley

Faking running out of gas on a date is creepy as fuck, dude.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 year ago

No mention of the Simca 1000’s unique role in taillight history, Torch? That rear view hints at it – there was not an all-red version of those taillights, new for 1969, on the US imports. It was the very first car sold in America with amber rear turn signals – at least via official channels, not counting gray-market VWs.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Chrome buttons, buckles and leather surfaces
These and other lucky witnesses
Now to calm me
This time won’t you please
Drive faster
Roll the window down this
Cool night air is curious
Let the whole world look in
Who cares who sees anything?
I’m your passenger
I’m your passenger

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
1 year ago

Iggy can ride whatever he wants. And he will.

search you’s tube- some great live versions out there by Iggy. Capturing the moment in raw form. It’s the performance that is key.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Hello, mother leopard.
I have your cub.
You must protect her,
But that will be expensive…
10,000 kola nuts,
Wrapped in brown paper…
Midnight, behind the box
I’ll be the hyena, you’ll see.

Last edited 1 year ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
1 year ago

Simca loves Latka?

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 year ago

Siouxsie would have chosen the Renault 12.

CSRoad
CSRoad
1 year ago
Reply to  Chronometric

That 12 looks like it has a couple of bodies in the trunk, it is sat down pretty far.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
1 year ago

By far the best -visual- interpretation of Iggy Pop’s version is as the music for a burlesque performance by BooBess & Jenny C’est Quoi. Far too erotic for YouTube (where I first watched it, but taken down) but a not-quite-as-good-but-still-great version is available on Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/249110548. Enjoy!

Last edited 1 year ago by Knowonelse
Max Finkel
Max Finkel
1 year ago

it’s funny I always thought it was about riding a trolley or bus or subway

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
1 year ago

Dad bought a Simca for Mom to drive to her teaching job. Dad got the “good” car for his commute. Mom hated the Simca, particularly it’s wretched heater. “It doesn’t heat up until I get there!” A Simca might be cool now, but for Mom it was literally way too cool for school.

CatMan
CatMan
1 year ago

Best Cold Start ever. and the car was pretty interesting also

10001010
10001010
1 year ago

With all of the albums Iggy has sold over the decades it’s sad that he still can’t afford his own car, or a shirt. 🙁

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago
Reply to  10001010

Agree 100% on the shirt issue. My wife & I stayed at the Hard Rock Chicago once, and on the wall across from the bed was a really big picture of Iggy without his shirt. He was not young in the picture. It was a jarring experience when I opened my eyes in the morning.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 year ago
Reply to  10001010

My wife used to say that shit all the time. She was right.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
1 year ago

Oh, the passenger
He rides and he rides
He sees things from under glass
He looks through his window’s eye
He sees the things that he knows are his
He sees the bright and hollow sky
He sees the city asleep at night
He sees the stars are out tonight

You’re damn right he does. Look at the DLO on that thing!

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
1 year ago

If I could insert the standing ovation gif here I would. Well played.

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 year ago

looks like a gargoyle you’ve raised since a gargoylet

Being a remarkably unattractive gentile, I’d like to offer a collective noun for group of people like me: gargoyim.

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
1 year ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Clever girl!

CSRoad
CSRoad
1 year ago

I thought it was a Simca, but considered it might be a Torch trick and a Simca made under license in a small island nation or rebadged as some kind of Chrysler product.
It’s 2023 and I’m still undead, undead, undead.

Last edited 1 year ago by CSRoad
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 year ago

Hot take: the Siouxsie and the Banshees cover is better than the original. Iggy wrote it, they perfected it. There’s something about the brooding goth vibes and lush instrumentation that take the song to the next level. They’re an underrated band in the grand scheme of things…I’m sure our beloved goth icon Adrian agrees

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
1 year ago

Siouxsie also did the definitive version of the Captain Scarlet theme tune IMO. ????

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 year ago
Reply to  Gilbert Wham

I’m sure this will be considered sacrilege by some folks but I even like their version of Dear Prudence more than the original. They have plenty of great songs of their own as well though.

Acrimonious Mofo
Acrimonious Mofo
1 year ago

I don’t even know if that’s a hot take–just straight facts. The Iggy version sounds like a song written by a guy in a post-chemical haze being driven around the city at 3am after spending a night out clubbing (bright white clubbing), whereas the Siouxsie version sounds like a song that you would blast at 3am in a post chemical haze while driving around the city after night out clubbing.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 year ago

I think referring to the Iggy/Bowie Berlin era as a post chemical haze would be putting it lightly.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Bob Rolke
Bob Rolke
1 year ago

I dont think the “post” part applies. More like peak chemical haze.

Gubbin
Gubbin
1 year ago

From station to station

Back to Düsseldorf City

Meet Iggy Pop and David Bowie

Trans-Europe Express

I wonder if Ralf and Emil were buying or supplying?

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
1 year ago

I hadn’t heard the Siouxsie and the Banshees cover before, but it is quite good. I think I prefer it to the original as well. The video creeps me out a bit for some reason, though.

Slower Louder
Slower Louder
1 year ago

With all due respect to Siouxsie, those cheerful horns in her rendition are all wrong for the brooding reflections in the song. Iggy all the way for me.
Thanks for Iggy in the morning, Jason. Was not expecting him with my Corn Chex.

10001010
10001010
1 year ago

I’ll be the contrarian. I love Siouxsie Sioux and enjoy both versions but the Iggy version is my favorite.

Beer-light Guidance
Beer-light Guidance
1 year ago
Reply to  10001010

I agree. I like Siouxsie’s version, I just enjoy the rawness of Iggy’s version more. The contrast of the growly vocals and comparatively sparse backing tracks with the overall positive tone of the lyrics tells a story of how life may generally kind of hard, but there is some good stuff out there.

Sc00t3r
Sc00t3r
1 year ago

“…maybe a little dead…”

Perhaps they are only mostly dead?

“There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.” – Princess Bride

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
1 year ago
Reply to  Sc00t3r

Iggy has been mostly dead for decades. They probably have their own tour bus Miracle Max to revive him for every show.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
1 year ago

“maybe a little dead”

There’s a Princess Bride joke here somewhere.

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